Japan Trip-Sunday June 3, 2012

We had a little rain today for the competition, but then it cleared up and got hot.

Everything ran smoothly, not a lot of competitors, but a reasonable turnout for a new Qualifier city and everyone seemed to have fun.

For dinner, Hiro led his staff and I towards the station to a typically small Japanese restaurant. This one was Korean style with a grill in the center of the table. Since there were seven of us, they added small addition to the table so we could all sit together.

This was not a meal that a vegetarian like Jeff would enjoy, or someone who was a finicky eater. Just so you know, I will pretty much try anything once…

For example, I never realized how many stomachs a cow can have. Or how many parts of a body of meat can be eaten. We had intestine, various stomachs, muscle, and tongue. I think there was some regular meat sprinkled in like pork and beef, and some raw cabbage, some picked cabbage (Kimache) noodles, and beer, but most of the food was a bit unusual.

There was some discussion of raw chicken, but I drew the line there (even after eating some raw egg), because of the years of hearing how dangerous it can be. Hiromi said that in the U.S. the time between killing and eating a chicken is longer than in Japan, that’s why it’s safer here which makes some sense, but none was ordered, so I didn’t have to give it a try.

Probably the most extreme item on the menu to me was raw horse mixed with some greens and a raw egg. I only managed one bite, but it was surprising tender.

Hiro left us to go back to the hotel after dinner while the rest of us went back to the City Hall observatory to get a view of Kobe at night from the 24th floor. Since the weather had cleared, it was a great view, both of the mountains and the harbor.

We could see Oktoberfest was still open, so we stopped there next and then back to the hotel for some sleep.

It’s morning now, I got up around 4:30 am to enjoy sunrise, and my stomach is still making strange sounds, probably trying to figure out what the heck I put in it the night before.

Today we all travel home which is always a sad day. Packing, saying goodbyes, and the travel. It always feels longer (even through the flights are a bit quicker) because there is not as much excitement in going home as there is in going away.

I just checked Delta’s website and it looks like there is a good chance that the Economy Comfort is not going to be full on my connection to Seattle and I my have some open seats around me again. The flight to Atlanta, on the other hand, appears to be full.

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